Imagine attending an event with your women-owned startup product in hand and receiving a handful of contacts from high level media, connections to some of the most well known distributors and a chance to receive $5,000 in coaching and services for your business.
This is exactly what the Own It Ventures Conference and Pitching Expo is bringing to New York next month. On March 20th, the Graduate Center of the City University of New York will literally become the business one-stop-shop of connections and lessons that can make any startup have an incredible launch into the public sector. In addition to being educated on agendas such as crowdfunding, there will also be separate areas where their business can make separate but equally important steps toward success.
“Many (women entrepreneurs) express lack of time to meet and network with the people who can truly make a difference in the businesses; this day provides that;” Own It Ventures President and Co-Founder Melissa Gasnick Cloeter said.
Benefits are Instantly Evident
In addition to time, another big issue some of these types of events have is not delivering on their promise to deliver a solid business startup education. Past participants of this particular event even highlighted complaints after experiencing similar forums but say there is a clear difference in this one.
Shan Massucco, owner of So Healthy and Natural said, “I have attended many events that promise to educate and be the answer to helping small businesses and entrepreneurs, but none have come close to comparing to the Entrepreneur Expose. From the beginning of the day all the way to the end, the event is jam packed with resources and businesses to help you grow your business.”
Numerous Streams of Support
In the main event, participants will hear from successful business leaders such as Jory Des Jardins of BlogHer for inspiration, support and advice on how to evolve their product and company. There will also be three separate rooms with unique lessons which are each aimed at creating impact for the startups.
One room, termed the “Product Pitch Tank“, will allow participants to interact with and pitch representatives from media organizations such as Huffington Post, Forbes, BlogHer and TomorrowsTrends.com for possible articles and media coverage.
It was here that startup owners such as Bridget Graham of Sweetable Eatables got her greatest return. A past conference gave her, “Much needed exposure for my business, as well as helping me to connecting with people that can take my business a greater level.”
The second room is set up so that participants can pitch the possibility of their product being available in retailers such as Whole Foods, Bloomingdales, QVC retailers, Telebrands and Wegmans. Since it could take a startup months or even years to gain this type of audience on their own, it is a fantastic opportunity for female entrepreneurs to gain ample momentum.
The final room, coined the “Advisory Board Room”, will be filled with representatives from all walks of business life, from business coaches to Accounting Firm representatives. Here the participants will get a full vetting on their pitch, their entire business idea, and connect with prospective connections who will be able to assist them in the future.
Daily Prizes & Mentorships Well
In addition, representatives and investors will be judging the participants in a “Sharkette Tank” where they will compete for interest as well as the grand prize of $5,000 in coaching and mentorship. This is also where participants will gain valuable insight from investors as well as hear from the previous winner on how the win has affected her business and what she has learned from the experience.
“In my experience, I had never been around so many women, wanting to see other women do well. You just walk away from the event feeling great!” -Past winner and Doggie Day Care Owner Jodi Brooks
Cloeter discussed these rooms in an interview stating, “For the entrepreneur who has a product or product line, getting distribution in retailers is critical for growth and success. In one day, women can market their companies and products to investors, the media and retail buyers with the potential to walk away with funding, buzz and distribution.”
Studies show fewer than 2% of women-owned firms in the US reach $1M in revenue; with this and the even more heightened need for women-owned and managed startups, the women-focused venture company Own It Ventures created an event to respond to this call.
“I am so excited about this day, but more importantly, I can’t wait to hear the results six months from now,” added Cloeter.